the BEST of both! perhaps if mr blair (and of course king george) weren't spending so much on the war in iraq, ms rogers could get the treatment she deserves. you really do wonder how this can happen in a 'civilized' country in 2006
British Clinic Is Allowed to Deny Medicine
By SARAH LYALL
LONDON, Feb. 15 — When her local health service refused to treat her breast cancer with the drug Herceptin, 54-year-old Ann Marie Rogers sued. But on Wednesday, a High Court judge ruled against her.
In his decision the judge, David Bean, said that although he sympathized with Ms. Rogers's predicament, the health service in Swindon, where she lives, had been justified in withholding the drug.
"The question for me is whether Swindon's policy is irrational and thus unlawful," Justice Bean wrote. "I cannot say it is."
The ruling has potentially serious implications for patients across the taxpayer-financed National Health Service.
Despite health officials' contention that decisions about treatment are based solely on clinical effectiveness, critics contend that with drugs growing ever more expensive, cost has become an increasingly important factor. They also say patients are at the mercy of the so-called postcode lottery, in which treatments are available in some postal zones but not others.
"This drug could save the lives of 1,000 women a year," Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the lobbying group Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said of Herceptin. "It is unfair and cruel for women like Ann Marie Rogers to know that it is money and their postcode that stands between them and this potentially life-saving treatment."
Herceptin, made by Roche, is currently licensed for use in late-stage breast cancer. Although some studies have shown that it is also effective in treating HER-2 early-stage breast cancer, it has not yet been licensed for such use. If it does receive a license, the drug will be appraised for potential countrywide use..........
(mmmmmmmmm i'd be interested to see if there were drugs which were prescribed to a mostly male population denied too)